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Publication numberUS5874096 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/704,430
Publication dateFeb 23, 1999
Filing dateAug 26, 1996
Priority dateJan 3, 1994
Fee statusPaid
Also published asCA2139381A1, CA2139381C, DE69418443D1, DE69418443T2, EP0660999A1, EP0660999B1, US5550224, US5824797
Publication number08704430, 704430, US 5874096 A, US 5874096A, US-A-5874096, US5874096 A, US5874096A
InventorsJames Lyle Hazen
Original AssigneeRhodia Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Newtonian drift control agent processes
US 5874096 A
Aerial spray or discharge drift is controlled in aqueous compositions via the use of selected non-visco-elastic amounts of guar, one or more derivatives of guar, or combinations thereof.
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I claim:
1. A method for reducing the drift during aerial spraying or discharge of an aqueous composition containing water as the major component comprising the steps of
admixing with said aqueous composition prior to said spraying or discharge, a drift control agent composition comprising
a) from about 0.01 to about 0.275% by weight per unit volume at final dilution of a guar composition selected from the group consisting of hydroxy propyl guar, carboxy methyl hydroxy propyl guar, and combinations thereof; and
b) a compound known to function as a drift control agent with the proviso that the compound in said aqueous composition be present only in a Newtonianly effective amount; and
aerially spraying or discharging the admixture.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the guar composition in said aqueous composition is from about 0.05 to about 0.125% by weight per unit volume at final dilution.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein said aqueous composition contains a bioactively effective amount of a bioactive.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein said bioactive is a pesticide.

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Ser. No. 08/177,051 filed Jan. 3, 1994 which is now U.S. Pat. No. 5,550,224 issued Aug. 27, 1996.


1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the control of droplet-size distributions in aqueous aerial sprays or discharges and, more particularly, relates to the minimization of spray drift.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Mist, or the fine particles end of the droplet-size spectra, i.e., those less than about 150 microns in diameter, in industrial aqueous spray or discharge processes, such as those associated with aerial firefighting and dust control, gas scrubbers, crude oil spill treatments and various bioactive ingredient application processes, particularly those associated with agriculture, often reduce the effectiveness of these processes.

When the sprays are to be directed toward a specific target, the aerial spray or discharge delivery systems are typically mounted on airplanes, tractors, ground rigs or railcars. However, as a result of spray drift, much of the material in a spray can be rendered ineffective because of the inability of the small diameter spray or mist particles to reach and impact upon the intended target. It is well known that spray droplet-size is a major factor affecting drift. While small droplets provide better coverage of a target, they are more susceptible to drift than larger droplets. Spray drift represents a loss of chemical from intended targets and thus implies the dangers inherent in air and water pollution. Since off-target chemicals are wasted product and with agricultural sprays, in particular, can represent a hazard to surrounding crops, water supplies and livestock, spray drift is an economical and environmental concern.

Research efforts to reduce spray drift have typically dealt with improved equipment design, e.g., nozzle design to optimize spray patterns, or application techniques such as spray pressures, heights, formulations, etc. The most promising improvements in the application technology area have been in the reduction of mist or fine spray droplets in the droplet spectrum during atomization via the use of spray modifiers known as drift control agents. Effective drift control agents must possess a great number of characteristics for they must be able to increase the small droplet size; be relatively insensitive to the high shear process conditions realized in the spray system pumps, nozzles, etc.; not detract from the biological effects of the spray bioactives; be compatible with other spray adjuvants, i.e., non-bioactive material added to the spray mixture to improve chemical or physical characteristics; not separate upon standing; be easy to use; be environmentally friendly; and be cost efficient.

Drift control agents are usually high molecular weight polymers which, when added to aqueous systems, tend to increase the viscosity of the system and thus prevent the water from being broken up into a fine mist when aerially sprayed or discharged.

These high molecular weight polymers tend to be unstable in that they often degrade upon aging and are very shear sensitive: both of which conditions, upon occurrence, cause a decrease in solution viscosity with a concomitant decrease in drift control activity.

Typical polymers currently utilized as drift control agents are the polyacrylamides, the polyethylene oxides, and the poly (vinyl pyrrolidones), with the polyacrylamides being the agriculture industry spray tank additive, drift reduction standard. However, current polyacrylamide drift control spray formulations have a very limited effective time of positive drift reduction for a number of reasons. At the outset, at current usage rates, the synthetic polyacrylamide polymer drift control agents are usually distributed in a kerosene carrier, which limits the dispersibility and additionally presents a volatile organic component problem for the end user. The polymers themselves are essentially non-biodegradable and, therefore, it would be highly desirable to reduce their usage. Furthermore, higher concentrations of some of these polymers have also demonstrated a sensitivity to water quality.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, these high molecular weight synthetic polyacrylamide polymers are extremely sensitive to shear stresses. Shear stressing is caused by high pressure gradients which may be imposed on a liquid by flow controllers, turbine metering systems, pumps and, in general, pressure differentials exceeding about 40 psi such as is commonly associated with aerial spray nozzles and discharge systems. Unfortunately, shear stressing damages shear-sensitive polymers such as the polyacrylamides by a phenomenon known as physical shear degradation. This degradation of the polymer realizes a significant decrease in solution viscosity which results in a lessening of the droplet-size distribution control effects.

In summary, polymers, such as high concentrations of polyacrylamide drift-reducing products have several major characteristics that are not conducive to ease of use or reliable efficiency: difficult dispersibility, water quality sensitivity and, most importantly, shear sensitivity.


It has now been discovered that under controlled conditions, guar and derivatives of guar even in combination with low concentrations of other compounds known to function at high concentrations as drift control agents, such as high molecular weight polymers can be utilized in an aqueous spray medium as an excellent drift control agent system with essentially none of the above-identified disadvantages associated with current usage of the polyacrylamide agents. When used in amounts such that, if individually used in water alone at the same concentration as that realized at final end-use dilution, 1) the guar-water combinations would exhibit Newtonian liquid behavior (as defined herein), i. e., a Newtonianly effective amount and 2) any other polymer-water combinations would also exhibit Newtonian liquid behavior, i. e., also known as a Newtonianly effective amount, then guar (and/or its derivatives) either alone or with polymer, effectively reduces the number of droplets below about 150 microns, i.e., the droplets most responsible for drift problems; exhibit rapid dispersion and hydration in water; and are ion insensitive, i.e. not dependent on water quality. Stated another way, any other compounds, e. g., high molecular weight polymers, if present in the guar drift control composition, must be there only in a Newtonianly effective amount. Note that if the compounds are individually added to water at the same concentration as that realized at final end-use dilution and the compound-water exhibits non-Newtonian behavior (as defined herein), then that concentration is considered to be a non-Newtonianly effective amount for that given compound.

In addition to being biodegradable, the initial guar materials are dry and, thus are not subject to separation upon storage, nor are they freeze sensitive. At the low concentrations of this invention, no volatile organic compound carriers are needed nor is there a need for surfactants to affect rapid hydration in water.

The guar compositions of this invention not only possess the highly desirable characteristics of efficient drift control agents, but also maintain these properties under prolonged high shear commercial spray conditions, i.e., the guar compositions of this invention are highly resistant to shear scission and degradation of the drift reduction effect for which these adjuvants are intended.


The essence of this invention lies in the discovery that compositions of very small amounts of non-derivatized guar (0.01 to less than 0.2% weight per unit volume (w/v)), one or more non-cationic derivatized guars (0.01 to 0.275% w/v), or one or more cationic guars (0.01 to 0.1% w/v), or combinations thereof in the absence of any non-Newtonianly effective compounds in aqueous spray or discharge compositions at final dilution (the final spray composition) function as extremely effective drift reduction control agent compositions and, serendipitously, in these low concentration ranges, the non-derivatized and derivatized guars also exhibit Newtonian behavior, and are not shear sensitive. These concentration ranges are far below that previously disclosed (typically in excess of 0.6% w/v) for the utilization in aqueous compositions of the other art recognized characteristics of non-derivatized guar and its derivatives, such as their ability to act as a lubricant, a binder, a thickener or a suspension agent.

Guar gum is the refined endosperm of the legume seed of Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (L.) Taub., a plant which physically resembles the soy plant. The gum is a pure food vegetable colloid recognized by the agricultural, chemical and food formulation industry for many years as having excellent thickening, film-forming and stabilizing properties.

Guar is often used in foods as a thickener and a binder of free water. In salad dressings, guar raises the viscosity of the emulsion and decreases the separation rate. Because guar functions to bind free water, it is used to stabilize foods such as ice cream by inhibiting the formation of ice crystals. Guar is also utilized to stabilize certain delicate, non-food emulsions such as 1:1 mixtures of water and mineral oil.

Guar has been shown to be useful as a lubricant not only by facilitating smooth extrusions at low pressures, but the additions of small amounts of guar have resulted in the reduction of frictional pressure drops in process water lines by up to 50%, thus increasing pump life and capacities and decreasing power requirements.

Functionally, non-derivatized guar is a cold water swelling, nonionic polysaccharide which develops and maintains its properties over a wide pH range. The guar polysaccharide is a complex carbohydrate polymer composed of essentially a straight chain of mannose units with single-membered galactose branches; chemically classified as a polygalactomannan.

Guar solutions are simply prepared by rapidly sifting dry gum into a vigorously agitated tank of water and permitting the gum to hydrate. Higher water temperatures can shorten the hydration time so long as the heating is not so prolonged or excessive as to degrade the polymer.

At concentrations used in this invention, solutions of guar have a zero yield value, i.e., they begin to flow at the slightest shear.

The nature of guar allows almost constant viscosity for a given solution concentration over the pH range of 3-10. Above pH 11, a lower viscosity results from the decreased ability of the gum to hydrate. The optimum hydration range occurs between pH 5 and 8. This unusual compatibility of guar over the 3-10 pH range is attributed to the nonionic nature of the molecule.

Etherification and esterification reactions are made on the guar hydroxyl functionalities. The C6 hydroxyl position is the most reactive position for etherification, for example, with propylene oxide, but the secondary hydroxyls are also probable sites.

Principle etherification reactions are carboxymethylation via monochloroacetic acid, hydroxyalkylation via ethylene oxide or propylene oxide, and quaternization with various quaternary amine compounds containing reactive epoxide or chloride sites. Anionic and cationic sites modify the way the guar molecule interacts with inorganic salts, hydrated cellulosic and mineral surfaces, and organic particulates.

In general, the hydroxyalkyl ethers of polygalactomannans are prepared by reacting the polygalactomannans with alkylene oxides under basic conditions. In U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,723,408 and 3,723,409, guar flour is reacted with alkylene oxides in the presence of water and sodium hydroxide. The reaction product is then neutralized with acid, washed with an alcohol-water mixture, and is then dried and ground. In U.S. Pat. No. 3,483,121, the polygalactomannans and the alkylene oxides are reacted under basic conditions with small amounts of water and larger amounts of water miscible or water immiscible organic solvents.

Specific hydroxyalkylating agents include ethylene oxide, propylene oxide-1,2; butylene oxide-1,2; hexylene oxide-1,2; ethylene chlorohydrin; propylene chlorohydrin; and epichlorohydrin.

Hydroxypropylation increases the gum's solubility, resulting in a product which hydrates rapidly, regardless of water temperature. Hydroxyalkyl derivatives are more tolerant of the water-miscible solvents and thus can swell in and develop viscosity in aqueous solutions containing low molecular weight organic solvents such as methanol, ethanol, etc. Both hydroxyalkyl and carboxymethyl derivatives typically form clearer solutions than standard guar gum and also hydroxyalkyl derivatives resist thermal degradation better than standard guar. Hydroxypropyl guar is particularly useful as a flow modifier and friction reducing agent which does not flocculate solids.

Carboxyalkyl ethers and mixed carboxyhydroxyalkyl ethers of polygalactomannans are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,740,388 and 3,723,409, respectively. These derivatives are made by reacting the polygalactomannan with the derivatizing agents (halofatty acid and alkylene oxide) in a water-alcohol mixture followed by washing with water-alcohol mixtures.

Specific carboxyalkylating agents include chloroacetic acid, chloropropronic acid, and acrylic acid.

Carboxymethylation introduces an anionic function to the polymer chain and further increases the solubility of guar. Carboxymethyl hydroxypropyl guar is exceptional in its ability to suspend undissolved solids.

Other derivatives of polygalactomannans are described in such patents as U.S. Pat. No. 2,461,502 (cyanoethyl ethers), U.S. Pat. No. 4,094,795 (dialkylacrylamide ethers) and U.S. Pat. No. 3,498,912 (quaternary ammonium alkyl ethers). In the described processes, the reactions are conducted in water-organic solvent mixtures and the reaction products are washed with solvents of water solvent mixtures. Specific quaternary ammonium alkylating agents are such agents as 2,3-epoxypropyl trimethylammonium chloride, 3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl trimethylammonium chloride and the like.

Other agents that can react with the hydroxyl groups of the polygalactomannans to form ether groups are, for example, alkylating agents which include methyl chloride, methyl bromide, ethyl chloride, ethyl iodide and isopropyl chloride; aminoalkylating agents; such as aminoethyl chloride, aminopropyl bromide, and N,N-dimethyl-aminopropyl chloride; ethylenically unsaturated group containing agents which react through Michael addition with hydroxyl groups such as acrylamide, methacrylamide, acrylonitrile, methacrylonitrile, acrylic acid, sodium acrylate and, in fact, any of the polymerizable monomers which contain one ethylenically unsaturated polymerizable group.

The term "derivatized guar", is meant to include any of the above described derivatized guar products.

Non-derivatized guar, derived from a nitrogen-fixing, renewable resource, is a versatile, environmentally friendly, highly biodegradable polymer. Derivatized guars are slightly less sensitive to biological degradation, as the molecules are less suitable as food for common organisms.

The aqueous spray compositions of this invention are those containing water as the major component, i.e., greater than 50% by weight. Industrial aqueous spray compositions will, of course, contain in addition to the non-derivatized guar (and guar derivatives) of this invention, and possibly other flow-modifying compounds, at least one chemically reactive compound. In the agricultural art, the compound is usually a bioactive pesticide. Other adjuvants in a guar aqueous spray composition may include minor amounts of, for example, buffering agents, defoaming agents, surfactants, wetting agents, sticking agents, tank cleaners, and other additives well known in the art.

The term "aerial spraying or discharging" means the spray or discharge process that occurs with commercial delivery systems typically mounted on airplanes, tractors, ground rigs or railcars and is not meant to include processes wherein drift is not a problem, e.g. totally enclosed systems such as spray dryers or low pressure, low shear, hand-held consumer application processes such as those associated with watering cans.

To provide effective spray drift reduction control of aqueous compositions, the effects realized by the drift control agent must be predictable and constant, i.e., the effects should not change with time or shear conditions.

Investigations of droplet spectra in air from industrial spray nozzles, especially those produced by most agricultural nozzles, have increasingly relied on laser-based devices. The spray cloud studies of this invention utilized the laser-based PDPA-100 system from Aerometrics Inc. for assessing the droplet spectra temporally. The drop-size ranges of the PDPA (about a 35 fold range) were sufficient to cover the droplet spectra produced by the equipment and processing conditions used in our study, i.e., flat fan agricultural-type nozzles atomizing conventional agricultive formulations at normal pressures. The methodology conformed to GLP standards.

Generally, compounds were added to thirty (30) liters of water at 26° C., then recycled and atomized through a Teejet XR8003VS nozzle at forty (40) psi. The first atomization measurement was taken after about two minutes of recycling, subsequent measurements occurred at 3-4 minute intervals. A single X-axis traverse of the spray cloud was taken. Time to traverse was adjusted so that at least 10,000 drops were counted; in most cases, it was closer to 20,000.

The spray spectra droplet diameters measured were from a maximum size of about 800 microns to a minimum size of about 20 microns.

It is generally agreed that the spray droplet sizes most susceptible to drift are those below about 150 microns, i.e., the "mist" range. The preferred range of droplet size diameters for commercial aerial sprays lies from about 200 microns to about 500 microns.

A number of formulations were atomized both with and without drift control adjuvants. Water was used as a standard in our tests because many formulations, particularly those containing wettable powders, atomize similarly to water if adjuvants are not present.

Droplet frequency distribution data from nozzles, specifically agricultural nozzles, tend to take the form of an approximate skewed log-normal distribution. The two most commonly used terms to describe such distributions are the Volume Median Diameter (Dv0.5) and the Number Median Diameter (NMD), the diameters below which 50% of the total volume and number of drops of liquid sprayed is in drops of smaller diameter, respectively.

V % and N % depicts the proportion of the volume of the spray cloud/number of drops contained within (above/below) given size ranges.

10% Point (10% Pnt) and 90% Point (90% Pnt) means that drop size below which 10% (or 90% respectively) of the volume of the measured drops lie.

Drift of aerial sprays, especially those sprays associated with the agricultural industry, are major contributors to the wasteful nature of commercial spray applications and impacts upon public health concerns and environmental costs. Since the application equipment associated with such sprays is unlikely to significantly improve near term, the spray modifiers of the instant invention are especially valuable in obviating the above concerns and can potentially extend the life span of both new and existing active chemicals, especially the bioactive pesticides of the crop protection industry.

The following examples are given to illustrate the invention and should not be construed as limiting its scope. Unless otherwise indicated, all parts and percentages are by weight of final product volume.


The following are the results realized in a hydration rate/mixing series of studies comparing an industry standard polyacrylamide drift control agent at typical commercial concentration levels with two derivatized guars, i.e., a hydroxy propyl guar and a carboxymethyl hydroxy propyl guar at concentrations designed to yield comparable initial viscosities to that of the polyacrylamide.

The polymers were added to a forty five (45) liter spray tank containing thirty (30) liters of tap water. The guar derivative powders were added by tapping them onto the surface of the water where the recycling liquid was returned from the pump. The polyacrylamide was added from a twenty (20) milliliter syringe into the same area. Both were stirred briefly by hand with a stirring rod.

The mixtures were atomized as soon as mixing was complete (after approximately two minutes), i.e., when most solid material had disappeared. The initiation of the atomization was considered time zero. The liquid was recycled with no pressure restriction, i.e., the material recycled freely through the pump, except when spraying, to simulate field tank mixing.

Droplet spectra data were measured for a single ninety (90) second traverse of the long axis of the spray cloud at each hydration/mixing interval. The intervals used were 5, 30, and 60 minutes. All guar mixtures were added to give 0.1% weight per unit volume and the polyacrylamide added to give 0.0625% volume per unit volume to achieve comparable viscosities. The liquid temperature was 25° C. +/-2° C. Data in all the Examples are reported in microns (μm).

              TABLE I______________________________________HYDRATION/MIXING STUDY                          % V <   % V <HYDRATION TIME (MIN.)          10% Pnt  NMD    100 μm (iv)                                  150 μm______________________________________NALCOTROL II (i) 5             211.3    53.7   1.85    4.7230             202.4    48.5   2.00    5.0560             175.4    47.9   2.75    7.03JAGUAR 8000 (ii) 5             203.3    43.8   2.36    5.4330             214.3    44.0   1.89    4.5660             194.4    43.8   2.41    5.68JAGUAR 8600 (iii) 5             201.8    41.9   2.41    5.5230             198.9    41.2   2.49    5.7360             190.0    41.8   2.70    6.27______________________________________ (i) NALCOTROL II is the trade name of Nalco Chemical Co. for its high molecular weight nonionic polyacrylamide. (ii) JAGUAR 8000 is the trade name of RhonePoulenc Inc. for its 0.4 ms hydroxy propyl guar. (iii) JAGUAR 8600 is the trade name of RhonePoulenc Inc. for its carboxymethyl hydroxy propyl guar. (iv) Water typically has 6-7% by volume of droplets with diameter less than 100 μm when measured similarly.

The above results show that derivatized guars in water at 0.1% concentration are extremely effective at reducing the number of particles below 150 μm diameter and the spray volumes associated therewith. The initial effects are comparable to a polyacrylamide agricultural industry standard, however, the effectiveness of the derivatized guars does not deteriorate with time as is quite noticeable with the polyacrylamide at concentrations yielding initial viscosity levels similar to that of the guar. Although the polyacrylamide at five minutes had reduced the volume of liquid with drop size diameters below 150 μm to 4.72%, fifty-five (55) minutes later its effectiveness had deteriorated significantly, i.e., to the point where the volume below 150 μm had risen to 7.03%.


The following are results realized during a study to examine the effect of high shear, such as that experienced in the field, upon the drift control agents of this invention using a polyacrylamide and water as the two controls.

The polymers were added to the spray tank as was done for the hydration/mixing studies of Example I. The mixtures were allowed to recycle freely (no pressure restriction) for two minutes prior to initial atomization (time zero) and then recycled with continuous pressure restriction to simulate field tank recycling while spraying was underway.

Droplet size spectra data were obtained along a single (90 second) traverse of the long axis of the spray cloud. The nozzle was then returned to the starting point (60 seconds); lines cleared of any formulation (15 seconds); and a new traverse started. This gives more or less a three minute interval between measurements, and essentially continuous shear stress. The process was repeated until the entire thirty (30) liters had been atomized, or less than 1 liter remained in the spray tank. Measurements recorded at approximately 3, 12, 24 and 35 minutes are shown below. The piston pump used for the experiments has a throughput of approximately 6.7 L/min. with no pressure restriction; 4.6 L/min. when spraying at 40 psi and 6 L/min. when restricted but not spraying.

              TABLE II______________________________________RECYCLING    10%    90%TIME (MIN.)    Pnt    Pnt    Dv0.5                       NMD  % V < 100                                    % V < 150______________________________________NALCOTROL IIWATER    119.8  418.3  250.3                       54.7 6.69    16.64(CONTROL) 2.97    204.6  746.4  428.0                       50.5 1.96    4.7611.77    169.2  617.9  368.2                       48.3 3.14    7.7023.57    135.8  519.4  293.5                       53.8 4.81    12.7135.26    127.2  454.5  278.8                       58.8 5.54    14.62JAGUAR 8000 2.90    176.8  713.4  381.4                       38.8 3.19    7.2211.60    199.0  719.8  400.8                       40.9 2.25    5.4723.38    192.7  689.9  386.3                       40.3 2.51    6.0935.35    189.5  800.6  409.9                       39.3 2.61    5.98JAGUAR 8600 2.83    212.8  787.1  424.0                       39.7 2.05    4.7111.38    209.9  752.4  417.2                       38.6 2.17    4.9923.07    209.7  792.4  425.3                       38.8 2.23    5.0534.72    177.1  698.4  375.6                       39.3 2.83    6.93______________________________________

As can be seen from the above data, the polyacrylamide drift control agent shears quite significantly over time. The Volume Median Diameter (Dv0.5), i.e., the drop size below which 50% of the volume is contained in drops smaller, is initially fairly high for the polyacrylamide (428 μm), but drops off rapidly to below 280 μm, whereas the hydroxy propyl guar begins high and actually increases slightly with time from about 381 to about 410 μm. The carboxymethyl hydroxy propyl guar started high and stayed fairly constant at 424 μm (with a slight decrease to 376 at 35 minutes). Most importantly, the data shows that, as opposed to the polyacrylamide drift control agent, after approximately 35 minutes of recycling, the percent by volume of the spray composition contained in droplet sizes prone to drift, i.e., the <100 μm and <150 μm sizes, of the derivatized guars is not significantly different from what it was at three minutes. The polyacrylamide suffered a significant reduction in effectiveness during the same period of time.


The following are results achieved during comparative high shear studies of a hydroxy propyl guar with other guars, i.e., a 1.2 ms hydroxy propyl guar; guar and a hydroxy propyl trimonium chloride guar.

The test conditions and procedures were identical to that used in the high shear recycle studies of Example II.

              TABLE III______________________________________    10%    90%TIME (MIN.)    Pnt    Pnt    VMD  NMD  % V < 100                                    % V < 150______________________________________JAGUAR 8000Water    119.4  392.8  250.1                       40.3 6.90    16.10Control 3.67    237.1  785.9  475.4                       38.5 1.59    3.5313.85    230.0  812.0  430.6                       40.0 1.60    3.6524.08    230.0  778.4  430.3                       38.6 1.65    3.7137.73    224.6  813.2  432.6                       36.8 1.85    4.28JAGUAR 8012 (i)Water    125.5  388.5  260.5                       42.7 6.17    14.29Control 5.03    183.6  608.2  370.1                       45.7 2.59    6.3615.43    187.8  638.7  373.9                       43.7 2.53    6.1025.75    186.1  706.3  369.6                       48.2 2.48    6.1639.42    177.3  602.3  361.8                       42.7 2.84    6.83JAGUAR 2610 (ii)Water    126.3  392.4  256.6                       40.7 6.18    14.46Control 3.43    194.6  700.4  383.6                       36.5 2.56    5.5813.82    192.2  625.5  381.4                       37.7 2.63    5.9624.13    191.7  656.3  380.4                       37.0 2.62    5.9138.00    181.4  687.1  374.2                       35.9 3.02    6.65JAGUAR C-13S (iii)Water    123.2  401.4  259.5                       42.3 6.38    14.99Control 3.52    187.5  624 0  371.0                       35.7 2.75    6.2813.83    182.4  604.5  362.4                       36.0 3.00    6.5924.17    183.8  667.3  369.6                       36.0 2.92    6.5238.02    187.8  670.2  373.0                       38.1 2.89    6.37______________________________________ (i) JAGUAR 8012 is the trade name for 1.2 ms substituted hydroxy propyl guar sold by RhonePoulenc Inc. (ii) JAGUAR 2610 is the trade name for nonderivatized guar sold by RhonePoulenc Inc. (iii) JAGUAR C13S is the trade name for hydroxy propyl trimonium chloride guar sold by RhonePoulenc Inc.

The above data confirms the effectiveness and essentially constant control of the mist or drift droplets, i.e., those below 150 μm realized by guar and derivatized guars during extended high shear recycling conditions.


A study was conducted in a wind tunnel at the Long Ashton Research Station in Bristol, England to evaluate the effect of pump shear on the downwind movement, i.e. the drift of a spray mixture containing 0.1% w/v JAGUAR 8000 in water and a spray mixture containing 0.0625% v/v, Nalcotrol II in water, both compared with water above.

The wind tunnel is 4 meters wide, 4 meters high and 12 meters long, with an effective reach of 8 meters, housing a Mardrive track sprayer capable of handling a 5 nozzle boom (50 cm nozzle spacing) at boom speeds up to 20 km per hour. A 3 meters diameter, horizontally mounted, axial fan pulls air through the wind tunnel at velocities up to 8 meters per second. Airflow is approximately laminar for the center 3 meters width. Temperature and relative humidity are not controllable. The floor of the tunnel was covered with trays of stubble to act as an artificial crop.

To create the stubble, winter wheat was sown in 60×40 cm trays and grown outside. Shortly before heading, the wheat was sprayed off with paraquat and cut to a height of approximately 28 cm above soil level. For the edges of the wind tunnel, lower grade stubble was used (24 cm high) as guard rows.

The polymers were added to tap water and were applied through a static TeeJet XR8003VS nozzle at 40 psi mounted 45 cm above "crop" height. Half of each mixture was sprayed using a pressure can, i.e., no shear, and the other half was subjected to 10 minutes of recycling through a small piston pump before spraying. A fluorescent tracer (Fluorescein) was added to the spray solutions at 0.05% w/v.

The drift was measured at a single position 5 meters downwind from the boom and nozzles at five heights, (0: crop height, 10, 28, 45, and 55 cm above crop height). Two wind velocities were used: nominally 2 and 4 meters per second. All applications were replicated three times.

Deposits on the drift collectors (string as supplied by WRK Inc. Manhattan Ks (66502) were extracted in 0.05M NaOH containing 0.05% Triton X100. Fluorescence was determined, within 1 hour of collection, using a Perkin-Elmer fluorescence spectrophotometer LS-2B (flow cell and peristaltic pump). Quantities of fluorescent material were determined from standard calibration curves derived from fresh standards.

The amount of drift for each treatment and at each height is expressed in terms of μg/g of tracer applied. Hence, the data can be related to "active ingredient" applied, irrespective of the volume applied. A summary of the data is presented in Table IV below.

              TABLE IV______________________________________Tracer Drift (μg/g of tracer applied)Centimeters AboveCrop Height  55     45      28    10     0______________________________________Normal Wind Speed 2 Meters/SecondWater        0.296  0.779   2.350 3.874  4.211Nalcotrol II Pressure Can        0.091  0.220   0.678 1.103  1.152Nalcotrol II Sheared        0.160  0.396   1.250 2.073  2.289JAGUAR 8000 Pressure        0.091  0.206   0.770 1.365  1.555CanJAGUAR Sheared        0.080  0.206   0.749 1.372  1.522Normal Wind Speed 4 Meters/SecondWater        0.370  2.029   16.899                             44.227 54.440Nalcotrol II Pressure Can        0.157  0.882   8.181 18.685 21.404Nalcotrol II Sheared        0.147  0.818   13.471                             37.125 47.656JAGUAR 8000 Pressure        0.109  0.494   7.181 19.975 22.410CanJAGUAR Sheared        0.076  0.493   7.286 21.025 23.576______________________________________

At "crop height" and nominal wind speed of 2 meters/second, JAGUAR 8000, both sheared and unsheared, reduced drift by about 64%, whereas sheared Nalcotrol II reduced drift by only about 45%.

At nominal wind speed of 4 meters/second, there was essentially no difference between the mixtures containing the sheared and unsheared JAGUAR 8000 and the unsheared Nalcotrol II; a reduction effect of about 60%. However, the sheared Nalcotrol II polyacrylamide drifted nearly as much as water alone.

Thus, this simulated field study data show that a derivatized guar, both sheared and unsheared, can reduce drift as effectively as an unsheared polyacrylamide drift control standard. Furthermore, both sheared and unsheared derivatized guar can reduce drift significantly compared to a sheared viscoelastic polyacrylamide drift control standard.


Aqueous compositions containing sixteen (16) additional commercial drift reduction products were tested under the procedures set forth in Example II. As JAGUAR 8000 and Nalcotrol II yielded viscosities of 2.4 cP at our test concentrations, the required concentration of each test material was identified to yield approximately the same viscosity. The products included both cold and hot water soluble polymers.

All viscosity measurements in the Examples were made using the Contraves Low Shear 40 Viscometer (LS40). Temperature was controlled at 25.0° C. using a circulating water bath. The LS40 uses Couette geometry (cup and bob) and the fixture designated DIN 412 was used for the measurements. The materials selected and their respective concentrations and viscosities are set forth in Table Va.

                                  TABLE Va__________________________________________________________________________                     TestTrade Name    Description             Supplier                     Conc.                         Viscosity(cP)__________________________________________________________________________JAGUAR 8000    HP guar  RPI     0.10                         2.4Nalcotrol II    polyacrylamide             Nalco   0.0625                         2.4SeaSpen PF    carrageenan             FMC     0.05                         2.4Viscarin GP 209    carrageenan             FMC     0.05                         5.1Viscarin SD 389    carrageenan             FMC     0.075                         3.2Klucel M HP cellulose             Aqualon 0.10                         2.2Cellulose Gum L    Na CM cellulose             Aqualon 0.10                         3.4Cellulose Gum    HE cellulose             Aqualon 0.17                         2.5250MRPemulen TR-1    Acrylic copolymer             Goodrich                     0.125                         2.1Gum Arabic, Tech.    --       AEP Colloids                     3.10                         2.3Locust Bean Gum    --       Meer    0.20                         2.3Tragacanth Gum    --       Meer    0.10                         1.9Polyox 301    poly(ethylene oxide)             U. Carbide                     0.12                         2.4Polyox Coagulant    poly(ethylene oxide)             U. Carbide                     0.07                         2.5K9A50    gellan gum             Kelco   0.07                         2.1K1A96    whelan gum             Kelco   0.025                         2.6K1A112   rhamsan gum             Kelco   0.012                         2.2Luviskol K90    poly(vinyl             BASF    0.70                         2.7    pyrrolidone)__________________________________________________________________________

Table Vb reflects the drift-prone particle size distributions and the change in this distribution as a function of recycle shear time.

                                  TABLE Vb__________________________________________________________________________         % Volume at Start                   % Volume at End                             % Change *PRODUCT       <100 μm              <150 μm                   <100 μm                        <150 μm                             <100 μm                                  <150 μm__________________________________________________________________________water         5.8  13.9 5.5  12.8 -5.2 -8.5JAGUAR 8000 - HP guar         1.8  3.8  2.2  4.8  -22.2                                  -26.3Nalcotrol II - polyacrylamide         2.0  4.7  3.8  10.8 -90.0                                  -129.8SeaSpen PF - carrageenan         4.3  9.9  4.4  10.7 -2.5 -8.1Viscarin GP 209 - carrageenan         3.8  8.9  3.7  8.9  +2.6 0Viscarin SD 389 - carrageenan         3.7  8.3  4.7  11.1 -27.0                                  -34.6Klucel M - HP Cellulose         3.3  8.1  3.5  8.5  -6.1 -4.9Cellulose Gum 7M - Na CMC         4.7  10.6 4.6  11.0 +2.1 -3.8Cellulose Gum 250MR - HEC         2.9  6.4  3.4  8.0  -17.2                                  25.0Pemulen TR-1 - Acrylic copol.         4.4  10.8 4.9  12.2 -11.4                                  -13.0Gum Arabic, Tech.         5.1  12.4 5.7  13.4 -11.8                                  -8.1Locust Bean Gum         4.0  9.8  4.1  9.9  -2.5 -1.0Tragacanth Gum         4.6  10.2 4.1  9.7  +21.7                                  +4.9Polyox 301 - PEO         0.1  0.2  2.1  4.7  -2000                                  -2250Polyox Coagulant - PEO         0.1  0.3  3.8  9.0  -3700                                  -2900K9A50 - gellan gum         4.1  10.0 4.4  10.4 -7.3 -4.0K1A96 - whelan gum         3.5  8.6  4.7  11.3 -30.6                                  -31.4K1A112 - rhamsan gum         2.2  6.7  4.1  9.9  -86.4                                  -34.0Luviskol K90 - PVP         4.1  9.4  4.5  10.0 -9.8 -6.4__________________________________________________________________________ * (+) change is favorable; volume decreased with time. (-) is unfavorable; volume increased with time. Based on water behavior; +/-8.5% (or greater) may not be significant.

None of the compounds tested provided as much drift protection as JAGUAR 8000 when judged by the percent of spray volume in droplets less than 100 or 500 microns. Only Polyox 301 and Polyox Coagulant (both polyethylene oxides) provided more initial drift protection, but these compounds atomized poorly and sheared extremely rapidly. As an aside, the "301" and "Coagulant" products did not atomize well until sheared and so initial droplet counts for them were below 1,000.

JAGUAR 8000 resisted shear degradations very well, essentially maintaining its droplet size spectrum over the approximately 40 minutes of the test.


Tests were run to establish the upper concentration that could be utilized with guar and its derivatives to ensure the Newtonian properties necessary to keep the drift reduction effects constant under the shearing conditions likely to be encountered in commercial spray applications. By Newtonian behavior, we mean that there be less than a 20% loss in viscosity at 100 sec.-1 shear relative to the average viscosity between 0.1 and 1.0 sec.-1 shear. If greater than a 20% loss occurs, compositions will be assumed to be non-Newtonian, i.e., visco-elastic.

The viscosity profiles of a non-derivatized guar and two derivatized guars were examined.

The adjuvant was added to test water (tap water or otherwise specified hardness) at room temperature (20°-25° C.). With high-speed mixing, the drift reduction adjuvant was thoroughly mixed and hydrated. This is nominally accomplished within 45 seconds.

The solution was de-aerated (to remove foam or entrained air) by pulling a vacuum over its surface or by centrifugation.

The viscosity was measured.

A. The average viscosity between 0.1 and 1.0 reciprocal seconds (sec-1) of shear was determined.

B. The viscosity at 100 reciprocal seconds (sec-1) of shear was measured.

The following table summarizes the results of the viscosity tests.

              TABLE VI______________________________________Rheological Data Summary       Ave. Visc. (cP)                     Visc. (cP)Guar/Guar Derivative       0.1-1.0 sec-1                     @ 100 sec-1                               ▴%______________________________________JAGUAR 80000.25%       35.39         19.25     -45.60.20%       18.49         12.38     -33.00.15%       9.03          7.39      -18.2 0.125%     8.01          6.48      -19.2 0.100%     4.89          4.40      -10.0 0.075%     3.36          3.11      -7.7JAGUAR 80120.25%       11.14         9.50      -14.80.20%       6.98          6.56      -6.10.15%       4.21          4.31      +2.3JAGUAR 26100.20%       12.81         10.26     -19.90.15%       6.63          6.15      -7.20.10%       3.10          3.37      +8.8JAGUAR C-13S0.15%       24.23         14.09     -41.90.10%       9.90          7.48      -24.50.05%       3.17          3.19      +0.5______________________________________

In view of the above, the upper concentration of guar and its derivatives in aqueous compositions has been determined to be that which establishes a viscosity of about 7.5 cP or less at 100 sec-1. Depending on the nature of the guar or its derivative, the concentration range required to achieve this viscosity will vary. The molecular weight of a polymer affects the concentration level at which viscoelastic or elastomeric effects appear; higher molecular weight polymers being viscoelastic at lower concentrations than that of lower molecular weight polymers of the same chemistry. For non-derivatized guar, the Newtonian concentration range at final dilution is from about 0.01 to less than about 0.2% weight per unit volume, preferably from about 0.05 to about 0.18% w/v. For non-cationic derivatized guars, such as hydroxypropyl guar or carboxy methyl hydroxypropyl guar, the concentration range is from about 0.01 to about 0.275% w/v, preferably from about 0.05 to about 0.125% w/v. For cationic guars, such as hydroxypropyl trimethyl ammonium chloride guar, the concentration range is from about 0.01 to about 0.1% w/v, preferably from about 0.05 to about 0.1% w/v. For blends of the above, the concentration range is from about 0.01 to about 0.275% w/v; preferably from about 0.05 to about 0.275% w/v with the proviso that i) the cationic guar concentration not exceed about 0.1% w/v; and ii) the non-derivatized guar concentration be less than about 0.2% w/v.


The following tests are illustrative of higher shear viscosity results that can be achieved by the drift control blend compositions of this invention.

Hydroxypropyl guar (Jaguar 8000) and a polyacrylamide (Nalcatrol II) are mixed together at concentrations of 0.5 grams/Liter and 2 oz./100 gallons respectively and added to a spray tank as set forth in the hydration/mixing studies of Example I. At the 2 oz./100 gallon rate, the polyacrylamide falls within the Newtonianly effective amount criteria of this invention. The mixtures are allowed to recycle freely (no pressure restriction) for five minutes prior to initial atomization (time zero)and then are recycled with continuous pressure restriction to simulate high shear field tank recycling while spraying is underway. Droplet size spectra data is obtained at time zero (unsheared) and at 30 minutes (sheared) along a single (90 second) traverse of the long axis of the spray cloud. Typical results are as indicated in Table VII below.

              TABLE VII______________________________________10% Pnt.    90% Pnt. VMD    NMD  % v < 100                                   % v < 150______________________________________Water  160.0    685.0    325.6                         60.7 3.25   8.57(Control)Unsheared  235.5    820.0    540.6                         57.9 1.40   3.67Sheared  212.1    826.8    491.1                         51.7 2.07   4.95______________________________________

In another test using similar conditions, the data for a hydroxy propyl guar (Jaguar 8000) at a concentration of 0.5 grams/Liter is obtained under unsheared conditions as described above and is set forth below in Table VIII.

              TABLE VIII______________________________________10% Pnt.    90% Pnt. VMD    NMD  % v < 100                                   % v < 150______________________________________Water  145.0    478.8    302.8                         53.3 4.08   10.82(Control)Unsheared  179.4    673.5    378.6                         40.1 2.92   6.79______________________________________

The enhanced drift reduction realized by the drift control compositions of this invention can be clearly seen by viewing the % v<150 reduction ratios of the water control to the i) hydroxy propyl guar alone, i.e. 10.82/6.79=1.59; ii) the sheared guar-polymer blend, i.e., 8.57/4.95=1.73; and iii) the unsheared guar-polymer blend, i.e., 857/3.67=2.34.

Thus, even though a significant reduction in the % v<150 is realized with the drift control compositions of this invention using solely a derivatized guar as the effective agent, a more enhanced reduction is realized when a Newtonianly effective amount of an additional polymer is added to the composition. Serendipitously, the shear sensitivity characteristic associated with the use of these other polymers is also reduced for even under high shear conditions, the % v<150 results exceed those achieved with the use of the derivatized guar alone under unsheared conditions.

While the embodiments of the invention chosen herein for purposes of disclosure are considered to be preferred, it is to be understood that this invention is intended to cover all changes and modifications in the disclosed embodiments which fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.

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U.S. Classification424/405, 514/777, 536/114, 424/406, 424/500, 424/496, 514/782
International ClassificationA01N25/24, A01N25/04, A01N25/10, A01N31/04, A01N25/00, C09K3/00, A01N37/18
Cooperative ClassificationA01N25/24, A01N25/10
European ClassificationA01N25/24, A01N25/10
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